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Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model

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  • Ugo Colombino

    ()

  • Marilena Locatelli

    ()

  • Edlira Narazani
  • Cathal O’Donoghue

Abstract

We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net tax revenue (fiscal neutrality), the effects of various hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include alternative versions of a Basic Income policy: Guaranteed Minimum Income, Work Fare, Participation Basic Income and Universal Basic Income. We produce indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked and compared to the current tax-transfer systems. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. It turns out that many versions of the Basic Income policies would be superior to the current system. The most successful policies are those involving non means-tested versions of basic income (Universal or Participation Basic Income) and adopting progressive tax-rules. If – besides the fiscal neutrality constraint – also other constraints are considered, such as the implied top marginal top tax rate or the effect on female labour supply, the picture changes: unconditional policies remain optimal and feasible in Denmark and the UK; instead in Italy and Portugal universal policies appear to be too costly in terms of implied top marginal tax rates and in terms of adverse effects on female participation, and conditional policies such as Work-Fare, emerge as more desirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Colombino & Marilena Locatelli & Edlira Narazani & Cathal O’Donoghue, 2010. "Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model," CHILD Working Papers wp04_10, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp04_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ugo Colombino, 2011. "Five issues in the design of income support mechanisms. The case of Italy," CHILD Working Papers wp21_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    2. Colombino Ugo & Narazani Edlira, 2013. "Designing a Universal Income Support Mechanism for Italy: An Exploratory Tour," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, July.
    3. Colombino, Ugo & Narazani, Edlira, 2014. "Closing the Gender Gap: Gender Based Taxation, Wage Subsidies or Basic Income?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201412, University of Turin.
    4. Holly Sutherland & Francesco Figari, 2013. "EUROMOD: the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 4-26.
    5. Robin Jessen & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2017. "Getting the Poor to Work: Three Welfare-Increasing Reforms for a Busy Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(1), pages 1-41, March.
    6. Islam, Nizamul & Colombino, Ugo, 2017. "The Case for NIT+FT in Europe: An Empirical Optimal Taxation Exercise," IZA Discussion Papers 11147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Colombino Ugo, 2012. "A microeconometric-computational approach to empirical optimal taxation: outline of a project," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201218, University of Turin.
    8. Felix FitzRoy & Michael Nolan, 2016. "Welfare Policies, Relative Income and Majority Choice," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(1), pages 81-94, January.
    9. Colombino Ugo & Narazani Edlira, 2012. "What’s Best for Women: Gender Based Taxation, Wage Subsidies or Basic Income?"," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201212, University of Turin.
    10. M. Fort & N. Schneeweis & R. Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," Working Papers wp787, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Ugo Colombine, 2013. "A new equilibrium simulation procedure with discrete choice models," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(3), pages 25-49.
    12. Colombino Ugo, 2010. "Equilibrium policy simulations with random utility models of labour supply," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201015, University of Turin.
    13. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2011. "Empirical Optimal Income Taxation: A Microeconometric Application to Norway," CHILD Working Papers wp16_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    14. Ugo Colombino, 2015. "Five Crossroads on the Way to Basic Income. An Italian Tour," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 1(3), pages 353-389, November.
    15. Colombino Ugo, 2012. "Equilibrium simulation with microeconometric models. A new procedure with an application to income support policies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201209, University of Turin.
    16. Mideros Andrés & O’Donoghue Cathal, 2015. "The Effect of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Adult Labour Supply: A Unitary Discrete Choice Model for the Case of Ecuador," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 225-255, December.
    17. Honkanen Pertti, 2014. "Basic Income and Negative Income Tax: A Comparison with a Simulation Model," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1-2), pages 119-135, December.
    18. Colombino, Ugo & Narazani, Edlira, 2013. "What’s best for women: gender based taxation, wage subsidies or basic income?," EUROMOD Working Papers EM10/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    19. Edlira Narazani, 2011. "Evidences on Household Labour Supply when Labour Demand is not Perfectly Elastic Keywords: Labour Supply, Labour Demand, Equilibrium," CHILD Working Papers wp22_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum Guaranteed Income; Work Fare; Participation Basic Income; Universal Basic Income; Models of Labour Supply; Tax Reforms; Welfare Evaluation; Optimal Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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